Tagged: #morality

photo portrait of F. A. Hayek

The Road to Serfdom by F. A. Hayek

The Road to Serfdom: text and documents, the definitive edition by F. A. Hayek. Edited by Bruce Caldwell (2007)

While I was looking for a Goodreads link for this book, I spotted another book referencing the Hayek’s title, by Grover Norquist (author of the coercive “no taxes” pledge that he had Republicans sign, assuring that government would become “small enough to drown in a bathtub.” He is described as more of a Libertarian than a Republican in some places. Norquist gave a lecture on his views in a 2013, the lectures were named in honor of Hayek.

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Debtors’ Prison by Robert Kuttner

Debtors’ Prison: The Politics of Austerity versus Possibility debtors prisonby Robert Kuttner (2013)

This book is by one of my new favorite authors. He and the book are described on the jacket flap in a very well written piece, so I have started this post with it in its entirety. Highly recommend this author and all he has written.

One of our foremost economic thinkers challenges a cherished tenet of today’s financial orthodoxy: that spending less, refusing to forgive debt, and shrinking government — austerity — is the solution to a persisting economic crisis like ours or Europe’s, now in its fifth year.

Since the collapse of September 2008, the conversation about economic recovery has centered on whose debt to forgive, and how to cut the deficit. These questions dominated the sound bites of the 2012 U.S. presidential election, the fiscal-cliff debates, and the perverse policies of the European Union.

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Thieves of State by Sarah Chayes

thieves of stateWhy Corruption Threatens Global Security: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security by Sarah Chayes (2016)

I finished the book a while ago and meant to do the write while it was fresh but got distracted.  It is a very depressing read, but probably important to know the arguments she makes so I’m going to go MUST READ on this book. The focus is on governmental and corporate corruption so obviously no good news with that focus. The problem is that there seems to be an endless supply of corrupt people, or good people stressed or tempted  or coerced and turned corrupt. Or willingly ignorant. Or simply evil. I guess it depends on what you believe the core of people is: good or evil? Since I spent childhood ducking and covering under my pathetic school desk (while realizing that it was going to be of no use at all), and my father was a bomber pilot who was absolutely a good man but he dropped bombs and people died. Of course they were scum sucking Nazi’s, but before the demagogue Hitler incited them to hate, they were just bakers, or shop clerks and so on. These same people closed their eyes to the deliberate seizure of their property and then themselves of Jews (or whomever Hitler deemed degenerate races including slavs and gypsies and of course gays) rounded up into synagogues right there in the towns and burned them alive and the synagogues to the ground. And of course the death camps. How can anyone believe in a god after the Holocaust?

So the point is, corruption is also at the heart of so many people that I am not sure it can be stomped out no matter how many whistle-blowers try. The forces of corruption are so great, and wealthy, and rationalized, and dog eat dog, or everyone else is doing it so just looking out for themselves. This is, in essence, the Tragedy of the Commons written by ecologist Garrett Hardin (no relation) in 1968.

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